Outrage A.D. – “New Blood”


Those in the know peg death metal’s beginnings to somewhere in the 1980’s, with Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore” held up as the archetypal early death metal record. An offshoot of thrash metal, early death metal shifted its focus from politics to horror – and inspired by the likes of extreme metal bands like Venom, seemed to revere Old Nick; lyrically, and in the album art.* *Disclaimer: I know precious little about early death metal, so a big shout out goes to Banger TV (Canada).

Outrage A.D., founded in 1992 by Mart Marion (vox/guitar), Nick Richer (drums) and Art Robillard (bass), had its roots in thrash metal. They released two EP’s on cassette, 1992’s “Hail God”, followed by “Waiting for the Son” a year later. For their debut full-length release (on Nosral Recordings) Mart, Nick and new bassist, Nicolas Miquelon revisited a few early favourites and also wrote new material for “New Blood”, out on 23 February 2018. Phew! Try saying all that in one breath! But I digress.

With “New Blood”, my lesson was “Don’t judge an album by the first song”. Were I to have only listened to the opening track, “God”, I may not have picked it up – and I’ll have missed out. This band’s songcraft truly evolves with every track. That said, there are things I like about the album opener: the guitar that winds up like a great rock ‘n roll propeller; and the riffing that follows on. Mart handles both the normal pitch and the growl competently, but admittedly I’ve gotten used to the contemporary death metal grunt that registers even lower on the vocal scale.

A distorted sustain carries the listener to “Mass of Life”, and here I enjoyed how the two styles of vocal delivery dialogue with one another. I love the double-time bass drum, punching through from time to time, and for me it was like the guys were warming up now. They also vary the pace – then faster, then slower. The melodic progression has a menacing air to it, and kept my attention.

The guitars and bass play tag in “Embryo’s Death”, Mart’s vocals underscored by guttural noises that pan from ear to ear. I like this experimentation; a hallmark of a new genre finding its feet. I know that death metal is no longer a new genre, but skip back in time to 1987 or so. Imagine being in a band pioneering that sound. That’s how “Embryo’s Death” feels to me. I do like it when the bass guitar becomes more prominent, and in this track Nicolas’ pops and slaps stand out nicely.

“Unreal Trip” is my favourite track. Slower paced, it had my head nodding appreciatively. The gurgling and sighing is quite unsettling, and contributes to the overall nightmarish atmosphere. It’s not an ambient track though, propelled all the while by Nick’s steady drumming. As far as I can tell, this fourth track is also the last of Outrage A.D.’s earlier compositions.

“New Blood”, new energy. The band is letting loose at a gallop, and the rhythm is compelling. I hear a “Glorify!” in amongst it all. While listening to this track, I study the album art and wonder about the significance of the album title. Could “New Blood” mean new offering, or renewal?

“Environmental Deficiencies” is marked by a dogged determination in the sound. A voice asks, “The future, what will it be?” The relationship between the Christian and the environment is so often overlooked, and we forget that we are stewards of God’s creation. A fade out and a reprise gets us to “Dreams unto Reality” where you’ll notice a marked stylistic shift. The tone is almost plaintive, before the verse kicks in. Someone whispers in my ear; then to the right, then to the left. Clean arpegios play off against distorted chords, presenting the listener with something fresh.

“Death Crow”, the eighth and final track on “New Blood” tips its hat to ‘Murder Legendre’, a character played by Bela Lugosi. I find intertextuality fun. It opens a text

in this case, a song – to further interpretation and new meaning. But enough with the textbook stuff. We’re here to enjoy the music! The ballad-like opening gives way to catchy thrash in the body, and comes full circle for a whispered, poignant close.

Outrage A.D. doesn’t play its trump card with the opening track, “God”. Instead, the album rewards the listener who sticks around for the balance of the tracks. I can confidently say that each time I listen to Outrage A.D.’s “New Blood”, I hear a new detail. It’s these kinds of albums that make it into my year-end top ten.

It’s a great ​8/10​.

Written by Karakul

1. God
2. Mass of Life
3. Embryo’s Death
4. Unreal Trip
5. New Blood
6. Environmental Deficiencies
7. Dreams unto Reality
8. Death Crow

Band members:
Mart Marion (vox/guitar)
Nicolas Miquelon (bass)
Nick Richer (drums)

Studio albums/EPs:
“Hail God” (demo, 1992)
“Waiting for the Son” (demo, 1993)
“New Blood” (full-length, 2015 – limited run; 2018)

Record Label: Nosral Recordings, Feb. 2018

Follow ​Outrage A.D. ​at ​Facebook / Bandcamp  / Twitter

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

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